By: Billy Hoyle (@wwnetbillyhoyle)
The Warriors had the Houston Rockets on their heels the entire night as they took an ugly win Wednesday night at Oracle. Rick Adelman brought his boring and ineffective brand of basketball to town and despite Kevin Martins flailing in a mockery of the game basketball fans pay to see, the Warriors pulled out a win.
While Monta carried the scoring load, matching a career high 46 points, Steph Curry not only ran the team with a veteran presence (interrupted by the occasional bonehead behind-the-back pass) but with the conscience of a killer. He is already showing a tremendous ability to apply major defensive pressure and offensive firepower in key parts of the game to pull away from opponents. This backcourt duo will continue to improve and their maturation will be the narrative the Warrior’s story is told to.
Defense was noticeably lacking, especially under the hoop for the Warriors, as time after time David Lee and Andris Biedrins gave up nearly uncontested shots at the rim. It is astounding to me that two experienced players, who, for the most part, play with a lot of heart, can be so lacking defensively. Fortunately, Lee makes up for his painful-to-watch defense with ample offensive chops and a willingness to mix it up on the boards. But, come on Dave, can’t you stay in front of Luis Scola ONE time? Is that really so much to ask? I guess it is, because you failed miserably. Fortunately for you, Andris actually looked worse, which is quite the negative accomplishment. How a 7ft. Center who is a six year veteran, thinks he needs to play gamble for the steal defense at the perimeter is totally beyond me.
Threatening to overshadow Monta’s tremendous night was the true specter that haunts the NBA, the ref’s whistle. Why David Stern thinks players showing up officials are more important than the actual officiating eludes me and tonight was a perfect example of why it is such a problem. Monta makes shots and doesn’t get calls while Kev-mart never makes shots and gets ridiculous call. What kind of a game is this that we’re playing? Time and again Monta makes amazing shots, gets contact and there’s no foul call, yet Kevin Martin goes 5 – 14 from the field but 17 – 17 from the line. That is, in a word, infuriating. How that is allowed, I don’t know, but it’s a horrible thing to watch and I really feel sorry for the Houston fans. I would be embarrassed if that was the style of basketball my team was playing night in and night out. Pitiful. Disgusting and pitiful.
Mercifully enough, the Warriors managed to eek out a win against a very competent team who, despite missing their best player, play very effectively on both offense and defense. There is a very noticeable difference in the type of basketball being played under coach Smart, even if the score didn’t reflect it. It actually looks like there is rhyme and reason to why the particular players on the court are… well… on the court. The ghost of Don still haunts the team and their substitutions, as the unfortunate line-up of Curry, Bell, Carney, Williams and Brandan Wright, to begin the fourth, will attest to. Surprisingly enough, that line-up seemed to actually address the necessity of having to rest the starters, as opposed to the whim of an aging asylum patient. How novel!
This is not a team of world-beaters by any stretch. The bench is far too thin and we need a lot of guys to step up. Rodney Carney taking three three-point shots is not what we need from him, strong defense and knowing his role is. Brandan Wright only scoring 4 points and grabbing 2 boards in eleven minutes is not close to getting it done. We’re a few players away from really being able to consider contending, but they play with heart and desire to win, for right now that will have to be good enough.